Just two days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Union City, CA police were called to the intersection of Smith and Dyer to take down a “large home-made banner” reading “White Lives Matter.”
The timing is “insensitive,” as Union City Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci describes it. “Again, because of the context, the insurrection at our national Capitol, as well as this is the weekend where we honor and celebrate Martin Luther King Junior and his life,” she goes onto say.
The banner, which was located “across from the Union Landing Shopping Center — the busiest intersection in the city,” was removed around 9 a.m, according to KPIX 5 SF Bay Area.
The banner has the potential to trigger a disturbance, which is concerning considering the already increased police force and concern leading up to the Presidential Inauguration.
Freddye Davis, president of the Hayward South Alameda County NAACP chapter, said the person who made the sign does not understand “Black Lives Matter.”
It’s safe to say anyone who chooses to use ‘”White Lives Matter” does not understand “Black Lives Matter.”
The phrase “‘White Lives Matter’ ignores the struggles Black people face in this country,” Davis shared.
“It does not mean that other lives (don’t) matter because they do. But if you look at history, the Black lives are the ones that have gotten the worse end of the stick,” Davis said.
It means Black Lives Matter too.
“It’s very offensive. It’s very racist. And systemic racism is so embedded in this country that we definitely got to do something about it,” Davis finished.
Some people have argued that the banner is freedom of speech.
Neighbor Mary Samarron shared she sees it as another person’s opinion. “A lot of things are said to stir people up. So I don’t get it.”
Another neighbor, Jalonnie Price said, “in my opinion, all lives matter. And we should all just be one, you feel me? (The White Lives Matter banner is) not cool.”
“Disgusted by this despicable act of vandalism.”
This "White Lives Matter" banner in Union City is no longer on display at Smith & Dyer.
The mayor also says the city immediately took down the banner. Police now watching for hate-fueled crimes. https://t.co/jpxEv3h9hx pic.twitter.com/CcAWtyw69T
— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) January 17, 2021